ELDERLY victims of scams and doorstep crime are to be supported by a new project set to be launched in April by Age UK Cheshire East.

Thanks to donations from the National Lottery’s Community Fund and the Garfield Weston Foundation the project is to become a reality.

The project has been devised as a response to the many reports about local older people being scammed out of their life savings, or conned by unsolicited callers purporting to offer to undertake urgent work to their property, and then charging thousands of pounds for minor or sub-standard work.

In some cases older people are being conned out of many thousands of pounds by tricksters who prey on their vulnerabilities and exploit them to part with their retirement funds.

Working closely with Cheshire East Council’s Trading Standards, Age UK has developed a two-year project which will see an individual charged with providing much-needed aftercare for older victims of such crimes, as well as working with teams of volunteers to raise awareness of scams and doorstep crime in the community.

Over the lifetime of the project it is anticipated it will work with many hundreds of victims, ensuring community awareness of the issue is improved to make older people much harder to target.

Damon Taylor, chief executive of Age UK Cheshire East said: “We are really excited about this new project, as unfortunately we know there are many older people who fall prey to such crimes and desperately need additional support.

“We will now be able to work with older victims to ensure they are not victimised again.”

A key element of the new project will be using a team of local volunteers who will help disseminate information in their community about scams and doorstep crimes taking place in their areas, as well as feeding back information on other possible scams.

Damon added: “We’d love to hear from anyone interested in volunteering with us on this project and ensuring the more vulnerable older members of our community are protected from these terrible crimes.”

The project is due to start in April 2020.